The Works Science and Technology Museum

A strange creature greets you at the entrance to The Works, a technology museum in Bloomington.
Clara James

The Works Science and Technology Museum is a hands-on technology center with interactive displays that really do make science interesting.

Pros

  • Visitors can touch and play with all the exhibits
  • Fun, accessible and educational
  • Recently extended opening hours

Cons

  • Displays sometimes get broken, so not every exhibit may be working

The Works Science and Technology Museum Review

Located in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, The Works is a technology museum operating on the principle of "hands-on, minds-on" learning. It is packed with interesting, interactive exhibits that children can, and are encouraged to, touch, operate, and experiment with.

The Works may be smaller than the larger and more well-known Science Museum in St. Paul. But it's packed with exhibits, and each one demonstrates a scientific principle in an elegant, interesting, accessible way, and explains how it is relevant in today's world.

Favorites include a "light harp" with no strings, played by optical sensors (the same that make a CD drive work); various pulleys and weights rigged in such a way that toddlers can lift their parents off the ground. There's a room with brick-sized foam blocks (which are great fun even for parents to build with. Children particularly seem to like being bricked up and then bursting out!) And then supplies of more bricks and wheels and gears and axles than your little scientist could have dreamed of.

Build cars and race them, or construct a super marble run.

A second room hosts temporary exhibits. An upstairs Design Lab space has workshops and more hands-on activities, projects and engineering challenges, included in the admission price.

Sometimes the displays are experimented with too vigorously and get broken, so not everything may be working when you visit. But there is so much to see here, that it shouldn't be too much a problem.

The Works hopes that their exhibits will interest children, help to demystify science and technology, and inspire confidence in learning about technology. They especially hope to connect with those traditionally underrepresented in the sciences, such as women, girls and people of color.